Making Connections Intervention (MCI)

A pilot randomized controlled clinical trial is studying the effectiveness of the MCI intervention in 60 Black adolescents who have depression symptoms and attend grades 6-12 within New York City Department of Education Public Schools.

The intervention has been devised to address barriers to mental health treatment engagement, in youth, as well as their caregivers.

Funder: National Institute of Mental Health
Principal Investigator: Michael A. Lindsey, PhD

The MCI is a 1-2 session, evidence-based intervention designed to improve engagement, perceived relevance, and treatment satisfaction among depressed, Black adolescents. The program also uses tailored outreach strategies including innovative digital content such as a caregiver web page and the MCI Headway app.

The MCI is paired with Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Adolescents (IPT-A). IPT-A is a 12-15 session intervention that teaches communication and problem-solving strategies for interpersonal problems associated with adolescent depression. We previously performed a small pilot study that used the MCI as an add-on to the IPT-A. The results suggested that MCI has a positive impact on many aspects of change associated with treatment engagement and in the reduction of depression symptoms. We also noted grade improvement and reduced suspensions among the youth who completed the program.

This randomized control trial is currently recruiting Black adolescents in grades 6-12 who attend New York City (NYC) Department of Education (DOE) Public Schools and The Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ).

Program factsheet (PDF)

Updates about the Making Connections Intervention

McSilver Receives NIMH Grant to Study Engagement by Black Adolescents in Depression Treatment